Top reasons to go ski mountaineering on the Twins in Jasper NP
Take on the classic ascent up the majestic South and North Twins
Enjoy Jasper National Park’s awe-inspiring alpine wilderness
Experience the north face of Twins Tower, one of the most iconic cliff faces in the world
The North and South Twins, in the northeast corner of Alberta’s Columbia Icefield, are the most striking landmarks in Jasper National Park. The imposing peaks stand proudly like a crown on the legendary north face of the massif. The climb to the top exemplifies pure Canadian alpinism, with excellent snow, stunning views of the Southeast Ridge, and even some ice ax action on the South Twin traverse. The aspects are relatively low angle and easy lines are abundant, so you don’t have to be a hardcore mountaineer to conquer the peaks. There’s no lack of challenging climbs here—the storied north face of Twins Tower has only been climbed 4 times in modern history! Climbing The Twins is a magically pure and simple alpine mountaineering experience, and the perfect introduction to Alberta’s breathtaking backcountry.
April through May
Banff, AB, is 2 hours away from the Columbia Icefields, the starting point of the tour
Intermediate to advanced
Book this adventure
Twins Peaks Ski Mountaineering Expedition
Test your courage on Mt. Columbia’s neighboring peaks on this scenic 4-day mountaineering tour! Rising from the Athabasca River valley, the giant North and South Twin abound with great climbing and skiing opportunities. Fall in love with Alberta’s gorgeous wilderness and spend some extra time exploring the numerous other high peaks in the area such as Stutfield Peak and Mt. Cromwell!
You will usually be approaching the climb from the Athabasca Glacier, while the “Black Hole” approach is reserved for the rarely climbed North Face routes.
From the Glacier, traverse 3 miles (5 km) up to the ramp base of the Columbia Icefield. Circumnavigate the southern edge of the Snow Dome, avoiding the massive crevasses on the southeast slopes, and traverse a series of scenic glacier hills and valleys, providing excellent photo opportunities.
The base camp will be established as close as possible to the Twins. The North Twin will usually be accessed from the col, while the South Twin requires a longer southward traverse.
After climbing the Twins, take the chance to visit some of the other enticing peaks in the area!
Meet your guide
Alpine Air Adventures
I have been on multiple trips with Alpine Air Adventures and I am always impressed with the level of skill and decision-making when it comes to safety in the mountains. I choose to go with Alpine Air Adventures because Jeff is very flexible and easy to book with. I am able to get a small custom trip and an experience I wouldn’t get with a big operator. Whether it’s skiing or climbing big mountains, or rock and ice climbing, AAA will give you a great experience in the hills.
Was out with JEff/AAA for a few days-totally awesome! Always felt safe skiing/climbing, and we were able to pick objectives to match my skills and goals and work to push my confidence on bigger things. Already looking forward to our next trip out.
Things to know
Covid measures in Jasper National Park, Alberta
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Jasper National Park, Alberta, please refer to Canada’s COVID-19 travel guidelines and the Alberta Health Service’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, local ski mountaineering guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- 4 days of backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering
- Tent accommodations during the tour
- Meals during the expedition
- Use of stoves and other group equipment
What’s not included:
- Skiing and avalanche safety equipment
- Pre and post-trip accommodations
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have an advanced level of fitness and backcountry skiing experience. The terrain can be quite steep and ungroomed. You will need to manage controlled ascents and descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while hiking uphill for 4000-6000 vertical feet every day. You will be on your feet for 4 full days.
What if I’ve never ski mountaineered before?
This expedition is suitable for intermediate to advanced mountaineers, backcountry skiers, and splitboarders, familiar with advanced movement techniques and proper mountaineering gear use. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. If you are new to ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing, we don’t recommend joining this expedition.
What equipment do I need to bring?
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
- Alpine touring skis, telemark skis, or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
- Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
- Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel
- Avalanche probe
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Gloves and hat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Down jacket or vest
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear, and socks
- One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
- Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
- Water bottle and 1L of water
- Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- First aid kit
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel, and probe can be rented in Banff
- Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented in Banff
- Splitboards can be rented in Banff
Ski rental locations are in Banff, Alberta, and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and pricing:
- The max guest to guide ratio for this adventure is 4:1.
- Costs per person decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski mountaineer with friends and family.
Ski mountaineering in Jasper National Park can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to mountaineer on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has ski mountaineers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to the Twins in Jasper National Park, most people fly into Calgary International Airport 1.5 hours from Banff, Alberta. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to Banff. From Banff, there’s another 2 hours of driving to Columbia Icefields.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at the guide’s Bunkhouse in Banff or at the Columbia Icefields. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the abilities of the group.